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not pass unobserved, that he has quoted no author whose writings had a tendency to hurt sound religion and morality.

The necessary expense of preparing a work of such magnitude for the press must have been a considerable deduction from the price stipulated to be paid for the copyright. I understand that nothing was allowed by the booksellers on that account; and I remember his telling me that a large portion of it having, by mistake, been written on both sides of the paper, so as to be inconvenient for the compositor, it cost him twenty pounds to have it transcribed upon one side only.

He is now to be considered as 'tugging at his oar,' as engaged in a steady continued course of occupation, sufficient to employ all his time for some years; and which was the best preventive of that constitutional melancholy which was ever lurking about him, ready to trouble his quiet. But his enlarged and lively mind could not be satisfied without more diversity of employment, and the pleasure of animated relaxation. He therefore not only exerted his talents in occasional composition very different from lexicography, but formed a club in Ivy-lane, Paternoster-row, with a view to enjoy literary discussion, and amuse his evening hours. The members associated with him in this little society were, his beloved friend Dr. Richard Bathurst, Mr. Hawkesworth, afterwards well known by his writings, Mr. John Hawkins, an attorney, and a few others of different professions.

* For the sake of relaxation from his literary labours, and probably also for Mrs. Johnson's health, he this summer visited Tunbridge Wells, then a place of much greater resort than it is at present. Here he met Mr. Cibber, Mr. Garrick, Mr. Samuel Richardson, Mr. Whiston, Mr. Onslow, the speaker, Mr. Pitt, Mr. Lyttleton, and several other distinguished persons. In a print, representing some of the remarkable characters who were at Tunbridge Wells in 1748, and copied from a drawing of the same size, (see Richardson's correspondence,) Dr. Johnson stands the first figure.-MALONE.

y He was afterwards for several years chairman of the Middlesex justices, and upon occasion of presenting an address to the king, accepted the usual offer of knighthood. He is author of A History of Musick, in five volumes in quarto. By assiduous attendance upon Johnson in his last illness, he obtained the office of one of his executors; in consequence of which the booksellers of London

In the Gentleman's Magazine for May of this year he wrote a Life of Roscommon,* with notes; which he afterwards much improved, (indenting the notes into text,) and inserted amongst his Lives of the English Poets.

Mr. Dodsley this year brought out his Preceptor, one of the most valuable books for the improvement of young minds that has appeared in any language; and to this meritorious work Johnson furnished the Preface,* containing a general sketch of the book, with a short and perspicuous recommendation of each article; as also, The Vision of Theodore the Hermit, found in his Cell,* a most beautiful allegory of human life, under the figure of ascending the mountain of existence. The bishop of Dromore heard Dr. Johnson say, that he thought this was the best thing he ever wrote.

In January, 1749, he published The Vanity of Human Wishes, being the Tenth Satire of Juvenal imitated.* He, I believe, composed it the preceding year". Mrs. Johnson, for the sake of country air, had lodgings at Hampstead, to which he resorted occasionally, and there the greatest part, if not the whole, of this imitation was written. The fervid rapidity with which it was produced, is scarcely credible. I have heard him say, that he composed seventy lines of it in one day, without putting one of them upon paper till they were finished. I remember when I once regretted to him that he had not given us more of Juvenal's Satires, he said, he probably should give more, for he had them all in his head; by which I understood, that he had the originals and correspondent allusions floating in his mind, which he could, when he pleased, embody and render permanent without much labour. Some of them, however, he observed were too gross for imitation.

employed him to publish an edition of Dr. Johnson's works, and to write his life.-Boswell.

z Sir John Hawkins, with solemn inaccuracy, represents this poem as a consequence of the indifferent reception of his tragedy. But the fact is, that the poem was published on the 9th of January, and the tragedy was not acted till the 6th of the February following.-BOSWELL.

The profits of a single poem, however excellent, appear to have been very small in the last reign, compared with what a publication of the same size has since been known to yield. I have mentioned, upon Johnson's own authority, that for his London he had only ten guineas; and now, after his fame was established, he got for his Vanity of Human Wishes but five guineas more, as is proved by an authentick document in my possession a.

It will be observed, that he reserves to himself the right of printing one edition of this satire, which was his practice upon occasion of the sale of all his writings; it being his fixed intention to publish at some period, for his own profit, a complete collection of his works.

His Vanity of Human Wishes has less of common life, but more of a philosophick dignity than his London. More readers, therefore, will be delighted with the pointed spirit of London, than with the profound reflection of The Vanity of Human Wishes. Garrick, for instance, observed in his sprightly manner, with more vivacity than regard to just discrimination, as is usual with wits, "When Johnson lived much with the Herveys, and saw a good deal of what was passing in life, he wrote his London, which is lively and easy: when he became more retired, he gave us his Vanity of Human Wishes, which is as hard as Greek. Had he gone on to imitate another satire, it would have been as hard as Hebrew b."

But The Vanity of Human Wishes is, in the opinion of the best judges, as high an effort of ethick poetry as any language can show. The instances of variety of disappointment are chosen so judiciously, and painted so strongly, that, the moment they are read, they bring conviction to every thinking mind.

a Nov. 25, 1748, I received of Mr. Dodsley fifteen guineas, for which I assign to him the right of copy of an Imitation of the Tenth Satire of Juvenal, written by me; reserving to myself the right of printing one edition.

SAM. JOHNSON.

London, 29 June, 1786. A true copy from the original in Dr. Johnson's handwriting.

b From Mr. Langton.

JAS. DODSLEY.

That of the scholar must have depressed the too sanguine expectations of many an ambitious student. That of the warrior, Charles of Sweden, is, I think, as highly finished a picture as can possibly be conceived.

Were all the other excellencies of this poem annihilated, it must ever have our grateful reverence from its noble conclusion; in which we are consoled with the assurance that happiness may be attained, if we apply our hearts to piety:

Where then shall hope and fear their objects find?
Shall dull suspense corrupt the stagnant mind?
Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?

Shall no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,

No cries attempt the mercy of the skies?
Inquirer, cease; petitions yet remain,

Which heav'n may hear, nor deem religion vain.
Still raise for good the supplicating voice,

But leave to heaven the measure and the choice.

c In this poem one of the instances mentioned of unfortunate learned men is Lydiat:

Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.

The history of Lydiat being little known, the following account of him may be acceptable to many of my readers. It appeared as a note in the Supplement to the Gentleman's Magazine for 1748, in which some passages extracted from Johnson's poem were inserted, and it should have been added in the subsequent editions." A very learned divine and mathematician, fellow of New college, Oxon, and rector of Okerton, near Banbury. He wrote, among many others, a Latin treatise De natura coli, etc.' in which he attacked the sentiments of Scaliger and Aristotle, not bearing to hear it urged, that some things are true in philosophy, and false in divinity. He made above six hundred sermons on the harmony of the evangelists. Being unsuccessful in publishing his works, he lay in the prison of Bocardo at Oxford, and in the king's bench, till bishop Usher, Dr. Laud, sir William Boswell, and Dr. Pink, released him by paying his debts. He petitioned king Charles the first to be sent into Ethiopia, etc. to procure MSS. Having spoken in favour of monarchy and bishops, he was plundered by the parliament forces, and twice carried away prisoner from his rectory; and afterwards had not a shirt to shift him in three months, without he borrowed it, and died very poor in 1646."-BOSWELL.

For some further account of Lydiat see Prefatory Observations to The Vanity of Human Wishes, vol. i. Johnson's Works, and the authorities there quoted.-ED.

Safe in his hand, whose eye discerns afar
The secret ambush of a specious pray'r;
Implore his aid, in his decisions rest,
Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best.
Yet when the sense of sacred presence fires,
And strong devotion to the skies aspires,
Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind,
Obedient passions, and a will resign'd;
For love, which scarce collective man can fill;
For patience, sovereign o'er transmuted ill:
For faith, which panting for a happier seat,
Counts death kind nature's signal for retreat.
These goods for man the laws of heaven ordain,
These goods he grants, who grants the power to gain;
With these celestial wisdom calms the mind,

And makes the happiness she does not finda.

Garrick being now vested with theatrical power by being manager of Drury-lane theatre, he kindly and generously made use of it to bring out Johnson's tragedy, d In this poem, a line in which the danger attending on female beauty is mentioned, has very generally, I believe, been misunderstood:

Yet VANE could tell what ills from beauty spring,

And Sedley curs'd the form that pleas'd a king.

The lady mentioned in the first of these verses, was not the celebrated lady Vane, whose memoirs were given to the publick by Dr. Smollett, but Anne Vane, who was mistress to Frederick, prince of Wales, and died in 1736, not long before Johnson settled in London. Some account of this lady was pub. lished, under the title of The Secret History of Vanella, 8vo. 1732. See also Vanella in the Straw, 4to. 1732. In Mr. Boswell's Tour to the Hebrides, (p. 37, 4th edit.) we find some observations respecting the lines in question: "In Dr. Johnson's Vanity of Human Wishes there is the following passage: The teeming mother auxious for her race,

Begs for each birth the fortune of a face ;

Yet Vane, etc.

"Lord Hailes told him [Johnson] he was mistaken in the instances he had given of unfortunate fair ones, for neither Vane nor Sedley had a title to that description."-His lordship therefore thought, that the lines should rather have run thus:

Yet Shore could tell

And Valiere curs'd

"Our friend (he added in a subsequent note, addressed to Mr. Boswell on this subject) chose Vane, who was far from being well-look'd, and Sedley, who was so ugly that Charles the second said his brother had her by way of penance.”—MALone.

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